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It is not just the unbelieving herd that does not get healed today, it is the leaders of these churches also. They and their families die of heart attacks and cancer too, while previously they certainly absolutely believed in the doctrines they taught.

When they die, it is said that it was the ultimate healing! A nice turn around that I have found common in these circles but not scriptural as death is our enemy.

One charismatic I know says she has never seen a healing in the 10 years she attended, and neither have the people who are regularly doing 'floor time' gained any sort of improvement in their emotional maladies.

I gave it a go myself for a while, believing absolutely that I would be healed of a lifelong physical illness, but it did not happen. In fact I became worse because I was advised that my very restrictive diet was 'of the demons' and we have the ability to eat anything we want through faith, so I gave that a go too and have never got back to the improvements I had gained at that time through diet. I was vulnerable as I was very desperate as very sick people are very desperate and will believe in anything they think will help. Many many are devastated to find that it does not happen.

I believe that MacArthur had to be as confrontational for people to take notice and think that it was entirely necessary to try to stem the tide and to try to help the people who are damaged by this movement and the harm it is doing to the church. It has also bred a generation of men who do not know the scriptures in the depth of past generations and especially of Calvinists, and who lose the ability to use their God given intelligence in discerning and logical ways.

As for Calvinists not believing in the Spirit's actions today, I was in a Reformed church where a dozen of us met in houses due to our belief that God was leading to a new work in our town, and we read through the book of acts, seeing many miracles confirming that God was with us and present when we met. It was a very blessed time for us. We saw miracles especially of God's provision all of the time and eventually we were able to buy an old Anglican church hall and now the church is huge.

They are not saying that miracles do not happen, but experience and reality shows it is not lack of faith but lack of time period.

 2013/11/1 5:15


by krautfrau on 2013/11/1 5:15:39

They are not saying that miracles do not happen, but experience and reality shows it is not lack of faith but lack of time period.

So, you are saying the Jesus Christ and the faith of His people are both being constrained by the "time period". That would be Cessationism, right?

 2013/11/1 8:20

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


Hi krautfrau,

RE: ///One charismatic I know says she has never seen a healing in the 10 years she attended, and neither have the people who are regularly doing 'floor time' gained any sort of improvement in their emotional maladies///

The various experiences do not matter.

What matters is what the Scriptures say, and those whom have been defending the cessationist view have failed to convince me that they have any Scriptural fondation for there view.

To use 1 Corinthians 13 does not fit, unless if you want to say that : v. 10 : "that which is perfect is come" and verse 12 : "but then face to face" "but then shall I know even as also I am known."
is referring to the (closing of the canon) because v 10 and 12 clearly gives the context for these things ceasing.

Lets lay our circumstances to the side and believe Scripture.

 2013/11/1 9:03Profile


PaulWest said: ///I think what Stephen is saying is that when men like Jesus, Paul and Peter performed miracles and healed in scripture, the events were publically witnessesed and often took place in the midst of huge diverse crowds, in synagogues full of skeptics, etc. A familiar cripple would be raised up, a corpse would sit up in his coffin in the middle of a city funeral procession and everyone attending would see it and report it. This is not happening anywhere in the open world today (only secretly in jungles and behind closed doors where nothing can be officially substantiated), for agencies like Reuters and CNN would certainly catch wind and jump in, especially if the dead were being raised in a public sector and before a mixed bag of unbelievers and skeptics, like we see often in scripture...

I think it is a valid point. I've thought about it myself, spending more than a decade as a Pentecostal in the Assemblies of God, and hearing about fantastic miracles and healings and signs and wonders in other places but never actually seeing one with my own two eyes. Not in the grand, public manner of New Testament scripture, that is.///

That is what I mean. There is a difference. The truth is, if I were pressed by a non-cessationist/continuist or whatever term we use, it might be concluded that I am not cessationist; and the reason is that we are not understanding each other.

Bearmaster said, ///I have talked with humble nen of God from third world countries who preach the gospel and they see people marvelously converted. They lay hands on the sick and they get well. They cast out demons in the name of Jesus. This men are humble and make no big deal about what they do. It is their normal walk with Christ. What these brothers are surprised at is the lack of faith in America to believe God for miracles. To discuss cessionism with these third world pastors would make no sense. They would say what are you talking about? We walk in miracles everyday.///

As a cessationist I wholeheartedly believe we would see the same things here in NA if there wasn't such unbelief and such prayerlessness in the Church... we would see people marvelously converted (miracles don't get better than that!), we would see demons cast out and people healed... but the nature of the miraculous will remain forever different. We will not return to the days of the apostles when men had THE gift of healing as we see in the apostles, but we will see healing. We will not see a return to the prophetic as it was then... the words of men will always be fallible; but that doesn't mean men will not prophesy.

I think it borders on judgmentalism to speak of MacArthur and Lawson the way Ravenhill has done and the way that is being done even here in this discussion. Go ahead and disagree with them, but I think it is wrong to say they will never operate in the spiritual power of a third world pastor. Of course they will never operate in apostolic power because they are not apostles and no one ever again will be. But we should consider the possibility that if those third world pastors were to come here they would meet with the same 'failure' - as was pointed out in the life of Jesus - because of the unbelief of the people.

But the unbelief we are talking about is not cessationism as I understand it. Unbelief is evident in the prayerlessness of the Church and the lack of hunger for God. We don't know anything of the prayer lives of men like MacArthur and Lawson and Mbewe... but here's what most saddens me about the NA church. It isn't the lack of healing. It is the lack of hunger for God. We saw a clip posted on another thread of people in China meeting 12 hours at a time for worship. Where is that happening in NA? We are here debating Strange Fire and the merits of cessationism when perhaps we ought to be praying.

I wonder how many on both sides of this argument have given even just 2 hours to prayer today. Here, Leonard Ravenhill used to say, is the measure of a man. I'm not interested in whether or not MacArthur has apostolic poweer or whether people are being healed by his ministry. I'd like to know how much time he spends with God... I'd like to know how dear the Saviour is to him and how his life conforms to the commmandments - and then I think I'll have an idea of his spiritual maturity.

 2013/11/1 9:17


Stephen, respectfully, saying that the time of apostolic miracles has closed does not make it so. Other than the fact cessionusm cannot be substantiated from the New Testament, the 1040.window proves God is wworking there as He did in the first century. It is our unbelief and rationalistic Calvinistic mindset that kill the Spirit moving in this nation. As a friend of mine would say Calvinism is in the air we breathe. Consequently it suffocates the fire of the Spirit.

The writer of Hebrews tells us in the 13th chapter vs 8 that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. No where has He ceased His marvelous miracle working power. That power is there for anyone who desires it. The promise of John 14:12-14 is anyone who believes in Him, Jesus can do His work. That being miracles. Greater works than these will he do because Jesus goes to the Father to send us His Spirit as He says in John 16:7. The power of the Spirit is there if one has infant faith to believe and recieve it.

I was not being derogatory when I said that John MacArthur or Steve Lawson will never operate in apostolic power. In Luke 10:21 Jesus praised the Father because the power of signs and wonders was hidden from the wise and intelligent but given to infants, those with child like faith to recieve such. John MacArthur and Steve Lawson are wise and intelligent men. But they are not infants. Thus apostolic or maybe I should say New Covenant power is hidden from them. Though should they become as babes in Christ God would surely grant them such. But it would require the death of their theological pride.

Must stand down. Need to prepare for 12 hr. prayer call this Sunday. But these are my thoughts in reflecting on your post.


 2013/11/1 10:13

Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK


Brother Stephen,

I know I may have come across on my earlier posts on this topic as a bit abrasive and if so I am sorry.

I want you to know that a lot of what you have said as to how you see things in practice I would agree with and am probably nearer to you in this view than I am with the 'typical' charismatic. My passion however is holding to the truth of God's word.

Even though the majority of what we hear called the 'gifts of the Spirit' in the churches of the West are not genuine, I don't believe that gives us the right to declare that God has brought them to an end. Even if I personally never experience something, that does not give me authority to declare it finished. Only God can say that and I cannot see any clear teaching in scripture that tells me this.

I know you want to defend McArthur and the others at the conference, but your view is not their view. They were far more dogmatic in this conference, even though I have heard them say much more reasonable things at other times. Even though I'm not Calvinistic, I do get a lot of encouragement from reformed and Calvinistic saints past and present.

let us go on to seek the Lord and be open to what he will reveal to us and how He will lead us. Desperate times are upon us and we need each other and not to continually fight for our particular doctrinal corner.


 2013/11/1 10:16Profile


Thanks Heydave. I have the feeling many of us agree more on this subject than we may realize. I do want to defend MacArthur and the others because I know what it is to be misunderstood, and I continue to maintain that they have been so misunderstood. I also believe that they are godly men and women who have issued warnings that need to be weighed carefully. We must be careful in this not to attempt to peer into things we cannot see. We do not know their hearts, and we do not what kind of communion they have with God. The charismatic community has been wounded, and the temptation is to respond back in kind. If he has overgeneralized and even judged the charismatic community, I would hope my charismatic brothers would not in turn respond by overgeneraling and judging him and company... and that I fear has been done to an extent.

I am grateful for your exhortation to seek the Lord and not to continually fight for our particular doctrinal corner. The irony is that I am theologically very far from MacArthur because I do not hold to his dispensational hermeneutic - but I do think cessationism is not well enough understood, I do believe we need to be careful how we speak about him; and I believe too that Arminians (which I once was) are too ready to jump all over Calvinism (as I used to do) and we end up contending wrongly. We misdiagnose the problem.

Bearmaster, I hope you are blessed this weekend as you seek the Lord in prayer. I hope, too, that you will consider picking up some of those books I recommended in another thread. [edit: you have already responded to that thread and have read some of the puritans - have you read any of the ones I listed?] I can promise that even if you don't agree with every word and even if you don't adopt their 'system' you will be richly blessed by any of them.

Your brother in the Lord,

 2013/11/1 10:39

Joined: 2008/5/3
Posts: 435


I see you all still discussing "cessationism" - that's the only thing you can think of right now in regard to MacArthur.

You're scratching the wrong surface friends, you are thinking in boxes and need another wake up call.

I experienced many healings in my life, both from a lifelong disease and a near death experience, so I'm clearly not part of that box that anything God said belongs to past times.

Now I read another board, I call it the "black/white is white/black board", where the discussion went along similar lines, and the moderator answered every concern with "It's sad - so sad" which resulted in more streamlined posts agreeing with the direction set by the Charisma magazine. Except one poster didn't follow the group's rethoric, his name is Barry Schmidt, and he wrote:

"Also agree how there is “another spirit ” which actually is a member of another Jesus and another gospel ( see II Cor 10)

If you actually read John MacCarther’s critiques ( as most Charismatics have not even bothered to) you will discover many legitimate concerns. This is one if them- a Pneumatically centered gospel ( spirit centered gospel) as a opposed to a biblically balanced CHRIST CENTERED GOSPEL.

This is one if the key signs of another spirit – a spirit that draws attention away from sola Christa Gloria to glorifying itself and the man who is manifesting it."

That's exactly the point you discover when you scratch the right surface and finally arrive at the real discussion, that would take place when everyone matures and steps out of their boxes.

 2013/11/1 21:45Profile

Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK


Quote: I believe that MacArthur had to be as confrontational for people to take notice and think that it was entirely necessary to try to stem the tide and to try to help the people who are damaged by this movement and the harm it is doing to the church.

Come on he did all this to promote his book before release to get the sales, if he really cared he would have called the Charismatic leaders of different churches together into a closed door meeting to address the issues.

Colin Murray

 2013/11/1 23:12Profile


Dear Colin

I don't think that it is loving for us to declare what peoples motivations are when we cannot have all of the facts at our disposal. We just do not know what communications there have been behind closed doors. Discussions and warnings about the spirit behind charismaticism has been going on for a long time, but the rate in which it is growing is I think reason to bring it out into the open more so than in the past.

 2013/11/2 5:22

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